CVA Pro Chad Schearer’s 6 Tips to Start Kids Muzzleloader Hunting

CVA Pro Chad Schearer’s 6 Tips to Start Kids Muzzleloader Hunting

CVA Pro Chad Schearer’s 6 Tips to Start Kids Muzzleloader Hunting

1) Start a child with a .22 rifle at first, since a .22 has no recoil and doesn’t make too-much noise. This way a child gets accustomed to shooting, aiming and squeezing the trigger. Within a few shots, he or she can be successful shooting a target at 20 yards. Although this distance isn’t far according to adult standards, for a youngster with short legs and little feet, 20 yards is some distance away.

2) Build a desire to shoot muzzleloaders. Our two boys go with Marsha (my wife) and me to the range to shoot, and they accompany us on hunts. In the beginning of their shooting experiences, they were always asking, “When can we shoot black powder?” When a child wants to do something really badly, they’re much easier to teach, and they’ll have better experiences, because they’ve finally gotten to do what they’ve wanted.

3) Start with a light powder charge and a light bullet when your child graduates from the .22. You

Start with a light powder charge

Start with a light powder charge

don’t want children shooting the same loads you use to hunt. With loose powder, 30 or 40 grains is plenty. Pelletized powder is measured in 50-grain increments, so with pellets I suggest only one 50-grain pellet with a .223-grain bullet for children to shoot. This isn’t a load for children to hunt with, but a load they can shoot at 25 yards. It has little recoil, little noise and only a small amount of smoke, and they can become successful at 25 yards. Remember, this time is the teaching stage. We just want our children to learn how to load and shoot safely with black powder and teach them how to clean their own guns.

4) Try using a lead sled. We used a lead sled when we first taught our boys to shoot black powder. This drastically reduces the recoil, and youngsters won’t flinch as much.

there’s no magic age that fits all children

there’s no magic age that fits all children

5) Increase the powder charge to 100 grains with a light bullet like the PowerBelt Aerolite that’s designed for 100 grains of powder, when the youngster is ready to start hunting. After we stepped-up the powder charge, we took the boys to the shooting range and again had them shoot with the lead sled. When you take youngsters hunting for the first time, they won’t feel the recoil, because they are so intent on taking the animal.

6) Remember, there’s no magic age that fits all children for starting to hunt. Body size, age, desire and legal hunting age in your state determine the best age. Many yousters at ages 10 or 11 can handle a muzzleloader with 100 grains of powder. Every young person is different. Our boys are exceptions to the rule, because they started shooting .225 under our supervision when they were just toddlers. They both have taken deer, and Walker, my 12-year old, took his first black bear with a muzzleloader last season.

The Schearers have two boys, 11- and 12-years old, Walker and Wyatt, who have been shooting CVA blackpowder rifles for 5 or 6 years.

The Schearers have two boys, 11- and 12-years old, Walker and Wyatt, who have been shooting CVA blackpowder rifles for 5 or 6 years.

By Chad Schearer, who hosts “Shoot Straight TV” with his wife Marsha. The Schearers have two boys, 11- and 12-years old, Walker and Wyatt, who have been shooting CVA blackpowder rifles for 5 or 6 years.

Posted in CVA, Hunting, Hunting Tips, Kids, muzzleloader, Safety | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

7 Tips for Successful Elk Hunts with Outdoor Writer John E. Phillips

Elk Hunting tipsAn elk hunt, whether on private land or public land, is a very-expensive proposition if you’re headed from the East going to the West. These tips will help you better prepare to take the elusive bugling bulls of the high country.

I’ve had several friends say, “I’ve always wanted to go elk hunting.” My standard response to that statement is, “Give me just a few minutes to find a baseball bat, and we’ll go out in the parking lot. I’ll beat you up with that bat. Then you’ll feel like you’ve been on a week long elk hunt.” Elk hunts are a lot of work, but they’re also exciting.

  1. Get in shape before the hunt to have a successful elk hunt. In the East, most-often we walk on flat ground. In the West, especially in the mountains, most of the land has a severe incline and a severe decline. You’re either walking uphill or downhill when you’re hunting elk in the high country. Because your body isn’t conditioned to this type of terrain, if you don’t start training well-before the hunt, more than likely you’ll have a difficult time reaching the place you need to be to take an elk with your muzzleloader.
  1. Plan to get to elk camp 2-days before your hunt starts to scout and to get your body accustomed to breathing thin air. The Good Lord in His ultimate wisdom created some of the most-beautiful country in the world where elk live. But He didn’t supply enough air for easterners to breathe comfortably at those high altitudes for the physical demands of an elk hunt.
  1. Spend time at the rifle range sighting in your CVA rifle at distances out to 200 yards. You’ve got to know where your bullet will hit at different ranges. If you have to make a shot at 200 yards, you’ll know where and how to aim.
  1. Make sure you have boots that are appropriate for the terrain you’ll be hunting. Just as importantly, make sure you have comfortable socks that will keep your feet dry from rain and sweat, and prevent your feet from slipping and sliding inside your boots.
  1. Purchase the best lightweight Gore-Tex rain suit you can afford. More-than-likely rain, sleet or snow will fall during elk season.
  1. Talk to your guide or experienced friends you’ll be hunting with, to learn what you need to carry in your daypack. You need to have everything you’ll need for that day’s hunt in your daypack, but you don’t need so much in your daypack that it’s a burden to carry.
  1. Remember the importance of being scent-free, since odor definitely will scare-off elk. My Elk Hunting tipsfriend, longtime and avid elk hunter, Bill Custer of California, explains, “Campfires are warm, comfortable and fun to sit around, but I won’t have a campfire in elk camp. I don’t want to have wood smoke in my clothes. Fire is natural, but elk on public lands today are street-smart. If an elk smells smoke without seeing smoke or flames and has seen hunters before when he’s smelled that odor, I think the elk is smart enough to relate the smell of campfire smoke to danger. I don’t go out and spend a lot of money on odor-eliminating products. You can spend thousands of dollars trying to get rid of odor and still stink. If I’m hunting into the wind and spook a bull, most of the time I can call him back within range. But if the wind is hitting me in the back as I stalk the bull, and that bull smells my human odor, I’ll never see that bull again. A big, smart bull probably will change ZIP codes when he smells human odor. As long as you’re wearing a camo pattern that keeps the bulls from seeing you, and you wear a mask and gloves, and the bull doesn’t smell you, you have a good chance of calling a spooked bull back to you.”

What tips or suggestions do you have for hunters who live in the East and plan to blackpowder hunt for elk in the West? Send tips to

By: John E. Phillips, longtime blackpowder hunter for more than 30 years and outdoor writer.

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Two more tips for hunting Elk on public land

Editor’s Note: Since Alaska’s elk season begins in August, and Colorado’s muzzleloader elk season starts in September, you need to prepare now by learning as much information as you can about elk.

 Tip 1) Use Hunting Pressure as an Advantage:

 Tip 1) Use Hunting Pressure as an Advantage:I retired from the Sara Lee Bakery Group 10-years ago, so I can elk hunt for an entire month now if I want. Most people who hunt elk will plan a 2-week hunt, which for me was 2 days getting to Colorado and 2 days getting home, so I only had 10 days to actually hunt. If the area you’re hunting receives 3 or 4 days of rain, it’s even less hunting time. If there are a lot of hunters in the area where I’ll be, I just move further away from them. That’s when I may travel 5-miles before daylight to get to a spot where no one else wants to go. Too, I’ve hunted one area for 25 years. When you hunt the same place for that long, you soon learn where the elk go when hunting pressure builds-up. Elk don’t have escape trails like whitetails do, but they’ll show up in corridors when hunting pressure builds. They have certain drainages, ridges and benches on the sides of mountains they prefer. The heavier the hunting pressure is, the further they’ll move. There’s one area where I hunt that where elk will move-out of the black timber and aspens when there’s pressure and come-down the mountain to the oak brush and junipers. They don’t like being down there, because the lower elevations are dry and hot. However, they have more cover in the oak brush.

One of the real secrets for success on public-land elk is to learn about other hunters just as much as the elk. If you know when and where they hunt, finding a place away from those hunters becomes much easier. If you go to places where other hunters won’t hunt, you’ll be in the spots elk have to be to survive. I use other hunters to push elk to me. Often if I know there will be hunting pressure, I’ll put a tree stand up over a wallow where I want to hunt. When other hunters see that orange vest above a wallow, they usually skirt around me. I’ve had hunters come in and sit close to the base of my tree. I’ll clear my throat, and they’ll look up, spot me and move on.

  Tip 2) Wear Camouflage to Match the Terrain:

Tip 2) Wear Camouflage to Match the Terrain:Wearing the appropriate camouflage also is an important factor in taking public-land elk. Some camo patterns fit better and blend-in better in certain terrain. When I’m hunting in the oaks, I wear Mossy Oak ( Obsession, in an open area, I wear Mossy Oak Brush and in black timber I’ll wear the new Mossy Oak Break-Up. When I go to hunting camp, I usually have at least three types of camo with me. I carry enough camo to change clothes twice a day for 2 weeks before I have to do laundry. I’m a fanatic about having the right camo for the right terrain, especially on public lands.

By: Bill Custer of Clovis, California, who has hunted elk in Oregon, New Mexico and Utah, with 90-percent of his hunting in Colorado on public lands.

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Two Tips from Bill Custer for Taking Public Land Elk

With elk season starting in some states like Arizona and Alaska as early as August, hunters are preparing for the season now. Here are some of my suggestions for better elk hunting this year.

1) Get off the Roads: 04

You won’t really find elk when you’re driving around in your ATV or truck. You have to get down in the canyons where the elk live. Elk on public lands are streetwise. They know that bulls and cows don’t ride in the backs of pickup trucks and call from the road. Today’s elk aren’t like they were 25-years ago. They’re way too street-smart to let you just take a shot at them. I start hunting from the time I leave my camp. I’ve taken elk within 1/2-mile from camp before, and I’ve also taken them 5-miles from camp. There’s a wallow 1/2-mile from my usual camp where I can hear my camp’s generator running from my tree stand at the wallow. Other people have hunted this wallow, but they don’t know when to be there to take an elk. I’ve taken three bulls there. But most often I’m well away from camp I hunt or any road when I hunt elk.

One reason more people don’t take elk on public lands is that elk today aren’t as vocal as they once were. On public lands, you need to be more diligent at hunting elk than calling elk. I’ve won several elk-calling contests, and I love to talk to elk. But I’ve changed tactics, and I spend more time hunting water or wallows and using the spot-and-stalk method than I once did. So, get away from the road, shut-up, and hunt.

2) Learn to Speak the Language:

Elk have a definite language. Most people who hunt public lands think they just have to make elk sounds, and elk will come to them. But if I started speaking Chinese to you, unless you’re from China, you wouldn’t understand a word I was saying. The real secret to talking to elk is to convince them that you’re an elk, not a human. I don’t understand the entire elk language, but I learn a little more every year. For instance, I jumped some cows coming down a trail, and they ran out a little and started barking at me. I call this cow bark a show-me-what-you-are call. I barked back at the cows, and within 15 minutes they were in my lap. So, I’ve been using an elk bark quite a bit lately, and it’s been very effective.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If I’ve got my boots on during elk season, I have a diaphragm mouth call in my mouth all the time, because I never know when I’ll need it. I don’t take the call out of my mouth until I’m back at camp. I use a wide variety of diaphragm calls, mainly from Primos and Bugling Bull. One of my secrets for calling elk is that I try to mimic every sound I hear from an elk. If I were repeating every word of a conversation I was having with a friend, that friend would get irritated quickly. I’ve learned that if I start telling the elk the same thing he’s telling me, he’ll get irritated and come see who I am, and why I’m being so rude.

By: Bill Custer of Clovis, California, who has hunted elk in Oregon, New Mexico and Utah, with 90-percent of his hunting in Colorado on public lands.

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Steve West On His Utah Elk Hunt Uses CVA’s Accura V2

Steve West of SOAI like to hunt elk on cooperative wildlife units in Utah, and I love hunting in the aspen trees there. On these units, a person can hunt elk with any weapon from September 1 to October 31. The first morning we went out was September 25. We called in eight bulls and passed them all up. Although I could’ve taken any of those elk, I really was holding out for a big bull. The rut was late, and the weather was hot and dry. Each one of the elk we called in on that first morning was a 5×5. Late that afternoon we called in some smaller bulls.

We got up early the next morning, we bugled, and a bull answered us. We went down in a little pocket to an open meadow and started cow calling. We could hear the bull screaming his bugles as he came toward us. Finally this big bull with 6 points on the left side and 5 points on the right side stepped-out of the aspens. You couldn’t have taken a prettier picture of a bull with a more-scenic background. The bull came right across the meadow in front of me, bugling. He was at less-than 50 yards when I touched off my 50-caliber CVA Accura V2. That 250-grain PowerBelt bullet nearly knocked him off his feet. I thought he was going to drop in his tracks, but he walked into the aspens a little ways and then tipped over.

Steve West On His Utah Elk Hunt Uses CVA's Accura V2

Once again, I was impressed with the terminal performance the rifle and the bullet produced. When you can get a good shot on an animal like this at close range and see the shock wave go through his body when the bullet enters, you better can understand why terminal velocity is so important. I’m satisfied that the bull was unconscious on his feet as he walked those 30 yards into the aspens and went down. I want to put the animals down as quickly and effectively as I can, so I shoot the 50-caliber CVA Accura V2 with the 250-grain PowerBelt Aerolite bullets.

If you’re planning a September elk hunt and have missed the drawing for this year, now’s the time to start planning for next year. To learn more about “Steve’s Outdoor Adventures,” go to

By Steve West, host of “Steve’s Outdoor Adventures” on the Outdoor Channel and avid muzzleloading hunter.

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Have Better Deer Hunting This Upcoming Season with Your CVA Rifle By Deciding How to Approach Your Green Field

Planting and hunting green fields can be very effective to concentrate deer and to draw deer from other properties.Planting and hunting green fields can be very effective to concentrate deer and to draw deer from other properties. However, if you don’t create brush tunnels to hide your approach to the green fields, you won’t be as successful as you can be. In many states, hunters already have started planting their fall crops for deer. Green field hunting may be one of the most-popular ways to take a whitetail. By increasing the amount of highly-nutritious, very-palatable food for deer improve the number, the size and the quality of deer on your land also will draw deer from other properties.

But there’s one major problem in planting green fields that most of us overlook. How will you approach your green field? Within the first week of hunting from a shooting house, deer coming toWithin the first week of hunting from a shooting house, deer coming to your green field will start looking at the shooting house before they enter the field. your green field will start looking at the shooting house before they enter the field. The more you hunt from that shooting house, the fewer deer you’ll see. Therefore, consider the possibility of creating hunting sites all the way around your green field to take advantage of different wind conditions and to prevent the deer from knowing where you are, and when you’ll be there.

Develop new, thick-cover lanes by making brush tunnels you can walk or crawl through to approach your green fields without the deer seeing you. To have an effective hunting site, identify the trails that lead into your green field, follow those trails 150- to 200-yards away from the green field, and build brush tunnels to enable you to approach ground blinds or tree stands, without the deer smelling, hearing or seeing you. This technique is especially productive if you plant small hunting fields 100-yards away from your green fields. These small hunting spots can be created by taking a garden rake, raking the leaf litter away from the soil and using products like Hot Spot, M.E.E.N. Green and Full Potential. These hunting fields can be effective early in the morning when deer are leaving the green fields after eating at night and late in the afternoon as deer move in to get a little bite of green foliage before They’ll use these tunnels too as escape routes to leave the green fields.dark when they go to the big green fields.

Whatever method you use, if you become invisible as you go to your tree stand or ground blind, and use scent-elimination products and build brush shelters, then regardless of the wind’s direction, you can slip into your stand without being seen or heard and take more deer. Remember this caution. If you build a brush tunnel to approach a green field, deer also will use the brush tunnels for the same reason you’re using them – to keep from being seen before they step out into the green field. They’ll use these tunnels too as escape routes to leave the green fields.

By: John E. Phillips, outdoor writer and avid deer hunter.

Posted in CVA, Hunting, Hunting Tips, land | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Search for Hunting Land at the Corps of Engineers, Power Companies, Wildlife Ranges. Forest Service and the State

Search for Hunting Land at the Corps of EngineersIf you’re looking for deer land to hunt this fall, here are some places I’ve explored to find land to hunt.

Check with the Army

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ( or call 202-761-0011) manages some of the best river-bottom hardwood lands in this nation – often only small easements or little blocks measuring 20 to 40 acres, but also deer rich – on many major waterways throughout the nation.

Think about Power 

Power companies in many states have large land holdings along major reservoirs and lakes that they’ve helped to create to generate power. Oftentimes by checking with the land office of the power company, you’ll discover plenty of lands you can hunt with a permit.  Timber companies, coal companies and large industrial companies too may have large land holdings that you can lease or hunt by purchasing a permit.

Consider Wildlife Refuges and the U. S.Forest Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has thousands of acres in its wildlife refuges under federal protection. To learn the location of wildlife refuges you can hunt as well as get free maps, visit the website at and choose “Visitors” and then “Hunting” to learn more too.

Don’t forget the U.S. Forest Service with its millions of acres open to the hunter. To receive maps of lands located in Alabama under jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service and open to the public for hunting, go to or call 334-832-4470. Or, you can visit the website of recreational opportunities on federal lands at, and find direct links to federal lands that permit public hunting.

Check State Hunting Lands

Although state hunting lands usually receive plenty of hunting pressure during the season, they stillSearch for Hunting Land at the Corps of Engineerscan provide good hunting for you when you don’t have land to hunt. But before you hunt public lands, you must understand several principles for finding deer on public-hunting lands.

* Move as far as you can from public-access areas to see more game. Most public-land hunters generally will stay within 1/4- to 1/2-mile of their vehicles or a road. If you travel 1 – 2 miles away from an access point, you drastically increase your odds for seeing deer.

* Go into the woods 2 to 3 hours before daylight to reach your hunting area to beat other hunters to premium hunt sites.

* Stay on your stand, or continue to hunt until the last minute of legal shooting time. You’ll need to know how to use a compass and a map as well as a hand-held GPS receiver when you hunt public lands.

* Don’t tell anyone where you hunt on public lands.

* Don’t leave any signs in the woods to indicate where you’ve hunted.

By: John E. Phillips, longtime avid deer hunter

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How to Find Deer Land to Hunt

04A couple of years ago, I almost dropped the telephone receiver 3-weeks before deer season started when I heard the words, “The landowner has sold the land, and our hunting lease has been cancelled.” I had planned to scout the areas on our hunting property where I’d taken bucks before, cut shooting lanes and make sure that the deer fed on the nut trees they had in the past before the season. I enjoyed scouting for deer, because I considered it the true essence of the sport of hunting. But that year instead of scouting for a place to put my tree stand, I had to scout for new land to hunt. After talking to hunters across the U.S., I learned how often this same scenario had happened to them.

The search for a place to hunt that season began with my friends and my local sporting-goods dealer. At the store where I bought my hunting and fishing gear, the salesmen and the owner knew me, how I liked to hunt, what kinds of places I enjoyed hunting, and which people I’d get along with best. I asked all of them to let me know of any openings on deer leases. One of the salesmen suggested that, “You ought to talk to the local conservation officer. He knows every piece of property in the county and every other game warden in the state. If anyone can help you, he can.”

03In thinking about my situation, I decided that two types of law-enforcement officers would know almost every landowner in a county – the conservation officer and the sheriff or the deputy sheriff – and would understand each landowner’s attitude toward hunters. Luckily my conservation officer knew another conservation officer in another county who helped me find a place to hunt that season. Since I never wanted to not have a property to hunt during deer season again, I started researching how to find hunting land when I didn’t have any.

I asked myself, “Who in the county would know the most rural landowners, how much land they controlled, and whether or not they would allow someone to hunt for free, lease their land or pay a day-usage fee?” Here’s the list I made:

* sheriff’s deputies and conservation officers.

* the bankers in rural counties and many urban areas, who had loaned money to landowners to plant crops, improve their lands, fence their properties, buy feed for cattle and/or borrow money to buy additional land. Hopefully the banker could act as a go-between or vouch for you and introduce you to a landowner.

* the newspaper man/lady who delivered the daily paper to rural communities. When in college, I became friends with an older student who lived in the same married-student apartments with us. Before class each day, he delivered morning papers from a nearby urban center to the rural region surrounding our university. He had permission to hunt and fish on more land than we could cover in our 4 college years, even though we hunted three afternoons a week and every weekend.

* the rural letter carrier/mailman, who might see deer as he traveled his route.

* the barber, who would know the men of the community.

Also a friend mentioned that I should contact colleges and universities in the area I wanted to hunt. Many hunters fail to realize that when alumni of colleges die, they’ll often leave their lands or a portion of their lands to the colleges or universities they’ve attended. Hunters seldom think to go to the land department of a college or university and look at the possibilities of leasing land to hunt. Although you may not find large blocks of woodlands contiguous to each other, you may pinpoint several small tracts available for lease during hunting season.

by: John E. Phillips, longtime avid deer hunter

Posted in CVA, Hog, Hunting Tips, land | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Switch Hitting with the CVA Apex with a .300 Win Mag Bergara Barrel for Woodland Caribou with Joe Sebo

I could reach out and touch a caribou at any reasonable distance.

I went to Newfoundland in 2012 to try for a woodland caribou with my CVA Accura. I also had an Apex with a .300 Win Mag Bergara barrel. I had asked my guide if he would carry the .300 Win Mag, while I carried the 50-caliber blackpowder rifle. I knew that sometimes caribou don’t come in close enough to get a shot with a 50-caliber rifle. I felt comfortable shooting my 50-caliber out to 200 yards, but past that 200-yard mark I felt more comfortable shooting the .300 Win Mag Bergara barrel. By having both, I knew I could reach out and touch a caribou at any reasonable distance. I scheduled a 5-day hunt for the caribou. Newfoundland is an island, so the caribou there don’t migrate like the caribou in the rest of Canada and Alaska do. The guide knew where they were before I arrived. These caribou were holding on a remote section of the island.

A friend and I flew into St. John’s, Newfoundland. We both had caribou tags. When we arrived, we loaded up in a truck and traveled about an hour to the lodge. The next morning we got up early and drove about 2 hours by truck and then took 4-wheelers to reach our hunting area. That 4-wheeler ride was one of the most-brutal rides I’ve ever taken. My jaws hurt for almost 2 months after the constant pounding we took on the 4-wheelers. There were no roads into our hunting area; the guide just drove the 4-wheelers cross country, and we followed. Finally, late in the afternoon after we had left the 4-wheelers, we found two caribou bulls sparring with each other. They pushed and shoved each other back and forth before drifting away from each other.

Then the nice bull I wanted to take started coming toward us. So, I prepared to make the shot with my CVA Accura 50-caliber. My guide had a range finder and continued to give me the yardage to the bull. The caribou got to about 100 yards and then turned and walked away from us. When the bull was at 275 yards, I handed my guide the 50-caliber Accura. I took the CVA Apex with the .300 Win Mag Bergara barrel.

03I hand-load my cartridges, and I use a Hornady 270-grain bullet. I have Nikon scopes on both my guns, because I like the circle rings inside the scopes instead of crosshair reticles. Once you get your scope mounted, you can go to the Nikon website (, enter the caliber, bullet weight and the muzzle velocity you’re using and get a trajectory chart. Then you know the bullet drop from 100 to 500 yards. With that information, I can set-up the circle rings inside my scope to aim according to the bullet drop at various ranges. I got a perfect double-lung shot on the bull, and he only traveled 20- or 30-yards before he went down. My friend also scored a caribou on that same day. By the time we got the animals caped out and quartered, both 4-wheelers were loaded down. My caribou was a Safari Club Gold Medal caribou.

I was trained in the military and taught there that 90 percent of the second shots a shooter takes are misses. Our instructor always told us, “Make that first shot count.” I’ve used that philosophy throughout my hunting career. This was one of the reasons I didn’t have a hang-up about using a single-shot muzzleloader rifle like the CVA Apex. Having the advantage of a range finder and having done my homework on my riflescope and at the rifle range, I didn’t hesitate to take the 275-yard shot. Even though I reloaded after the first shot, I didn’t have to take the second shot. I believe hunting with a single-shot rifle tends to make you a better hunter, since you have to know that you can make the shot.

By Joe Sebo CVA Pro Staff.

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Why Tony and Angie Walker Put Out Minerals for Deer

Why Tony and Angie Walker Put Out Minerals for Deer

Why Tony and Angie Walker Put Out Minerals for Deer

Angie and I are borderline fanatics about putting out minerals. We put out Lick Magic Mineral from the Heartland Wildlife Institute ( all year long. I advise you to read the contents of a mineral product before you buy it. If the product is 50- to 60-percent salt, then you’re buying salt instead of minerals. Too, consider whether the deer actually will take in the minerals you’re putting out. If the minerals don’t taste good to the deer, you’ve wasted your money. That’s why I like these Heartland minerals. They have a high mineral content and have been tested to make sure the deer will take them.

The biggest whitetail we’ve taken with a CVA muzzleloader was a 196-inch whitetail that Angie took. The video of the hunt was on Realtree’s “Monster Bucks” TV show. The buck was 4-1/2-years old, and we had videos of him taken by trail cameras the previous year. When he was a 3-year old, his antlers would score about 150 on Boone & Crockett, but one year later he had almost 200 inches of scorable antler. I think his antlers grew so quickly, because of the minerals he consumed from the property. There’s plenty of corn and soybeans in Indiana where we live, we have annual and perennial food-plot plantings on your land, we feed minerals year-round, and we provide sanctuary for our bucks on the property we hunt.

The minerals we use can be purchased loose in a bag. I take a shovel and break the ground up about 1- to 1-1/2-feet deep. I pour about half a bag of the minerals in the broken-up ground and mix that into the soil. Then I take the other half of the bag and mix it into the same area. When we make a mineral lick, we’ll carry two, 5-gallon containers of water and pour them over the ground where we’ve mixed the minerals. Then we mix up the minerals in the mud. Over the years, we’ve found the deer use these types of mineral licks more frequently than if we just pour the minerals on the ground. We may have as many as eight bucks coming to one mineral lick. By the end of the summer, that mineral lick may be 1-1/2- to 2-feet deep where deer have been pawing the dirt to get to the minerals. I put out a full bag of Lick Magic Mineral in April and then refresh the licks in July.

Why Tony and Angie Walker Put Out Minerals for DeerOnce the bucks come out of the velvet, they usually will lose interest in those mineral licks. One of the biggest advantages that the mineral licks provide for us is they give us places where we can put-out trail cameras. We can see the conditions of our bucks and learn the sizes of their antlers as they grow and develop. If you put your cameras up and stay away from the mineral licks except to check the cameras, bucks will come to these mineral licks almost every day. I’ve been using the Bushnell Trophy Cam HD ( for about 5 years, because these cameras are the only ones I ever have been able to leave outdoors for an entire year with only one set of batteries. They take about 1,000 pictures a week on our animal licks. With other cameras, we probably changed batteries every few weeks and paid $10 or $12 per battery change.

By: Tony Walker who with his wife Angie hosts the “The American Way” TV show ( on the Pursuit Channel. Starting July 1 and running through December, you can watch their show on Monday nights at 9:30 pm and on Sunday mornings at 9 am.

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